Starting a Business: Lesson 5

What It Takes to Be Successful

Charles Alexander, with the TSBDC, will be covering what it takes to be successful when starting your own small business. 

Topics:

Video Lesson Topics

- Personal Considerations

  •  Before starting your business, one must have a practical plan with a good foundation. This is much like building a home and having that foundation planned out first is crucial. Owning a business will not have an end date like building a house, instead you will hopefully be in business for years. 
  • To start a small business, you will have to be dedicated even to the things you might not want to do. This will require you to step out of your comfort zone often. 
  • Running a business properly will require you to learn the technical skills required for the industry, record keeping, management finance, and market analysis. 

- Business Owner Characteristics

  •  A business owner should be a leader, which those skills can be brought from past experiences at home and your personal life. You may have only been a leader in a certain situation, but those skills can be brought to your business to lead customers, vendors, and employees. 
  • Do you make decisions quickly? Making a decision without thinking about it, is actually the lesser of two evils. As long as the decisions you make are not catastrophic, you can always recover from them if they end up being the incorrect choice. On the flip side some people get caught up in paralysis by analysis which is the process of overthinking a decision and taking too long to come to a final choice. Once that choice has been made, it is too late and the opportunity is lost. As an entrepreneur people will come to you to help them make decisions. You need to learn how to be comfortable in not always being 100% certain. 
  • Competition is a part of what shapes what you do. Your competition determines what part of the market you want to fill. When competing with other similar businesses, you will want to position yourself in a way that shows of why you are unique and different than they are. 
  • Be confident in your will power and self-discipline in order to have your business succeed. 
  • Are you capable of planning ahead? 
  • Do you like people and can you get along with strangers? At some point you will have to get out of your comfort zone to do networking, speaking, or being involved with customers on a regular basis. 

- Time Considerations

One of the reasons that a lot of people will start their own business is the ability to come and go as they choose. However, those first couple of years in business you may be working 70-80 hours a week and working seven days a week to reach your goals. The goal, most small business owners, have is to eventually manage the business and not work in the business. 

- Family Considerations

If you have a spouse, children, or family living with you, make sure they are also onboard with the increased working hours that will be required. This will show itself in not only you being more flexible but also your family,  when you might have to be late or even miss an event. Your family may also have to lower their standard of living due to the money you have invested in starting the business. They will also have to be onboard if other savings need to be used to help the business succeed. 

Topics & Lessons

Each Below Topic Contains a Video Lesson and Helpful Downloadable Information

2:25

What Problem am I Solving and Who am I Solving it For?

2:03

The Planning Process and Planning Tools

7:13

Setting Goals

13:30

Legal Structure

9:38

What It Takes to Be Successful

10:18

Funding Options for Starting Your Business

4:05

The Realities of Grant Funding

21:51

Partnership and Operating Agreements

6:20

B Corp Certification

6:01

Is Starting a Business Right for You?

2:14

Analyzing Your Personal Finances Before Starting A Business

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